Saturday, September 01, 2012

Want Justice? Ladies Close Your Legs!

Our motherland, Africa is very sick. Walter Rodney a prominent Guyanese scholar, political activist, and writer, who before being assassinated in 1980, wrote the ground breaking book, “How Europe Under Developed Africa”.  “How Europe Under Developed Africa” detailed how European powers stripped Africa of her resources while using forced labor and political manipulating of African people to further their exploitation. 

This period was called the scramble and patrician for Africa.  Africa was ripe for this exploitation  by Chattel Slavery. The forced removal of over twenty-five million people, who if left undisturbed, would have continued to develop a civilization that before slavery was more advanced than Europe.

 What is left is a continent shackled by corruption, eternal strife, oppression, and extreme poverty.

As in America, deeply oppressed Black men over time develop a hyper masculinity to feel the void of being both helpless and powerless.  In Africa, this only creates further destabilization, resulting in deeper oppression and violence against women and girls who are so marginalized, that it becomes almost  impossible for them to play a progressive roll in African society, which is yet another valuable resource lost. But women are starting break lose. 

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, recently reelected in an election free of fraud by African standards, continues to heal the wounds of her once war torn and savaged nation. 

But real change must  come from women taking to the street, like  Isabell Ameganvi, head of an organization called "Let’s Save Togo", an umbrella group of grassroots organizations and political parties fighting to oust dictator Faure Gnassingbe. Gnasingbe is yet another in a brutal and long line of "African strong men", itself a remnant of western colonialism when brutal dictators were needed to keep the people in their place while their countries resources were stolen. And as typical, Gnasingbe replaced his father who ruled Togo for 38 years 

Isabell Ameganvi, is using a remarkable and powerful weapon to aid her people's struggle for liberation, sex or the lack there of.  She is urging all women in Togo to boycott sex with men for one week to force men to take a stand against Gnasingbe.   

"Women are the first victims of the disastrous situation that we are living in in Togo. That's why we are telling all women: one week without sex. That's also a weapon of the battle,"  Ameganvi said also noting the effectiveness of a similar sex strike during the dark days of Liberia. “We want to fight as the women of Liberia because when they started to do the sex strike, the men obliged to end the war and peace came back again in Liberia. That’s why we want to do the same thing in Togo to oblige the Togolese opposition to fight and end the system of oppression".  

When my African sisters get it together, they get it together! And I hope that this movement spreads because it could tip the balance in a world where men continue to screw up it. The irony is that such an  effective weapon for women is so "close" and available yet has barely been utilized. 

The concept of using sex as a progressive weapon dates back to 410 BC when Aristophanes wrote the play Lysistrata, who ended the Peloponnesian War by getting all women to refuse sex to all men. I think the best part of the play is at the beginning, when Lysistrata says to her dear friend Calonice " There are a lot of things about us women that saddens me, considering how men see us as rascals". And Calonice answers with "As indeed we are". 


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